COMMUNISTS: Stalin on Stalin

The world's dim picture of Joseph Stalin as a human being was sharpened up a little last week. The twelfth volume of Stalin's collected works, issued in Moscow, contained an unpublished letter—a warm, personal note—that Stalin wrote in 1930 to his friend, Author Maxim Gorky (TwentySix Men and a Girl), then ill with tuberculosis in Italy.

Stalin opened his letter with the same limping apologies that non-Marxist non-dictators resort to. "Dear Alexei, Maximovich!—A heap of excuses and a plea that you won't abuse me for my late (too late!) answer. Besides that,...

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